Stories of Kindness from Around the World

Bread and Roses

--by kjoyw, posted Apr 6, 2018
While checking out at the grocery store I had been visiting with the woman behind me. She was riding in one of those shopping carts with the basket in front. The basket held just a few items: some apples, corn, a loaf of bread, some canned goods, and a bunch of gorgeous coral colored roses. Several times while we were visiting I caught her looking at those lovely roses and smiling. I commented to her that they were, indeed, very lovely roses. She said, "I really do love them, they're my favorite color.

Well, just as I was leaving, I heard her say to the cashier, "You can put those roses back, I really shouldn't afford them." I turned around and asked her if she would allow me to get them for her. She shook her head and said, "Why would you want to do that? You certainly don't have to." I replied that I just wanted to especially since she loved them so much. She still seemed hesitant so I told her that she would be doing me a great kindness if she would allow me to gift them to her. With tears in her eyes, she agreed and said, "I really do love them. Thank you." As I handed the cashier the money for the roses, I noticed he was a little teary eyed as well. As I told them both goodbye and began to walk away, I noticed that she was holding the roses and just beaming!

On the way home I was reminded of a song I had heard decades ago and I've loved it ever since. The song is 'Bread and Roses' and I first heard it sung by Judy Collins. The lyrics are by John Denver. It's a beautiful song on many levels and reminds us that we all need sustenance, but we all also need beauty.
A line from this song fits this situation perfectly, I thought. It reads:
"Hearts starve as well as bodies. Give us bread, but give us roses, too."
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Readers Comments

Karhleen wrote: Awesome story. Inspires me to give back at the very next opportunity
lindariebel wrote: Lovely and memorable raok.
Rajni wrote: We do need breads to nourish our body and roses to nourish our heart with happiness. Your politely requesting kindness on your part is very inspiring. May others follow suit. Thanks for sharing beautifully with relate to song.
LiliAB wrote: Thank you for your sharing this lovely story.
petroskryf wrote: Such a lovely story. With the lingering smell of kindness. Thank you, dear kate!
moonwalk wrote: So moving! Thanks for sharing.
melnotes wrote: What a beautiful post!!! Thank you for your loving kindness and will have to check out that song xx
pluto178 wrote: It could have gone two ways.........I wonder if in a parallel Universe she is saying no.............she said yes she allowed a RAOK to take place and you made it happen between you a little ray of light shone on the world. Well done. I still find the ones where they insist you go away so funny but it is always best when they work. x
kiwicat wrote: I love how you do these spontaneous acts of kindness. You are fantastic!
mindyjourney wrote: Tuned in to the roses, my friend :)). Was at rose garden ealier today and keep smelling them! thank you for your kind heart and giving. Wonderful :))

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